Bullying in the Playground: The impact of interpersonal violence on Australian children's perceptions of their play environment

Phillip Slee

In STUDY ONE the extent of interpersonal violence (bullying) and the environment in which it occurred was investigated in a sample of 1050 South Australian primary school children. On average across the three schools which participated in the study 23.8% of students reported being bullied once a week or more often. The bullying was reported as most frequently taking place during break-times in the relatively open playground spaces of the oval and hard surface play areas. In STUDY TWO 365 students from one of the participating schools were further surveyed to understand the relationship between various indices of personal and interpersonal well-being and the quality of peer relationships in the playground environment. Students who reported being victimized were significantly more likely to report playing alone, feeling unhappier and less safe in the playground. The findings were discussed in terms of schools needing to address the issue of peer bullying and working to create a safer school environment for all children.

Full article:
Slee, P.T. (1995). Bullying in the playground. The impact of inter-personal violence on Australian children's perceptions of their play environment. Children's Environments, 12(3), 320-327.